Unusual houseplants

Unusual house plants: 7 unique plants to add a splash of excitement to any room

Posted by for Plants

Are you bored of seeing hundreds of snake plants on your Instagram feed? These unusual, eye-catching house plants offer something new.

As much as we love a good monstera deliciosa or snake plant, they have taken up more than their fair share of Instagram real estate over the last couple of years. And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing – they’re popular for a reason, after all – sometimes it’s nice to mix things up and opt for something unique.

Thanks to the number of independent plant sellers popping up across the country, the variety of unique and rare plants available to buy online and instore is on the up. Whether you’re after striking colours or eye-catching shapes and patterns, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste.

It’s worth noting, however, that owning an unusual or rare plant doesn’t come easy. On top of the fact that most of these plants tend to be a bit more difficult to care for than your bog-standard succulent, they tend to be a bit more expensive, too.

However, if you’re ready to give your new leafy friend all the love, care and attention it needs to thrive, owning an unusual or rare plant can be a great way to stretch yourself and learn more about plant care along the way. And on an aesthetic level, unusual plants tend to be more eye-catching and exciting to look at, making them the perfect addition to your home.

Tempted yet? Without further ado, here’s our pick of seven unusual house plants to add a unique touch to your home. 

  • Polka Dot Begonia

    Polka Dot Begonia from Canopy Plants, £21.
    Unusual House Plants: Polka Dot Begonia from Canopy Plants, £21.

    The Polka Dot Begonia’s (begonia maculata) cartoonish white spots are so striking it’s hard to believe they aren’t manmade. A relative of melons, pumpkins and cucumbers, this tropical plant also boasts leaves with a deep red underside, and will grow flowers if you look after it well.

    To keep it happy, position it in indirect light and let the top inch of soil dry out between waterings.

    Shop Polka Dot Begonia at Canopy Plants, £21

  • Maidenhair Vine

    Maidenhair Vine from Conservatory Archives, £8.
    Unusual House Plants: Maidenhair Vine from Conservatory Archives, £8.

    The Maidenhair Vine (muehlenbeckia complexa) can be pretty tricky to care for, but if you get it right, it’ll reward you with its long, wiry vines and delicate leaves. Just don’t be alarmed when it loses all its leaves in the winter – it’s a deciduous plant, which means it sheds its leaves on a daily basis.

    The Maidenhair Vine is happiest in indirect light, warm temperatures and high humidity, so it makes a pretty great bathroom plant. 

    Shop Maidenhair Vine at Conservatory Archives, £8

  • Elephant Ear Plant

    Elephant Ear Plant from House of Kato, £40.
    Unusual House Plants: Elephant Ear Plant from House of Kato, £40.

    Between its large, deep green leaves and zebra-striped stems, it’s hard not to fall in love with the elephant ear plant (alocasia zebrina). It’s eye-catching nature is what makes this plant so special – it’s the perfect choice for someone looking for a plant that’s going to make an impact.

    To look after your elephant ear plant, give it lots of bright (but not direct) light and keep its soil moist. You might also want to give it a mist a couple of times every week to ensure its leaves remain nice and fresh.

    Shop Elephant Ear Plant at House Of Kato, £40  

  • String Of Coins

    String Of Coins from Happy Houseplants, £22.
    Unusual House Plants: String Of Coins from Happy Houseplants, £22.

    The contrast between the bright green, coin-shaped leaves and the striking red-brown undersides and stalks are what make the rare string of coins (peperomia pepperspot) so special. The leaves of this plant are also quite easy to propogate, meaning you can grow lots of little plants if your heart so desires.

    The best bit? It’s not too difficult to look after – it generally prefers things on the drier side, so it’s OK if you forget to water it every so often.

    Shop String Of Coins at Happy Houseplants, £22 

  • Pencil Cactus

    Pencil Cactus from PrickLDN, £13.
    Unusual House Plants: Pencil Cactus from PrickLDN, £13.

    The towering presence of the pencil cactus (wilcoxia poselgeri) makes it the perfect centrepiece plant – look after it properly and it might even treat you to some of bright pink flowers.

    The best bit? The pencil cactus can thrive in all light conditions from bright sunlight to partial shade, so it’ll be happy wherever it ends up in your home.

    Shop Pencil Cactus at PrickLDN, £13

  • Asparagus Fern

    Asparagus Fern from Patch Plants, £10.
    Unusual House Plants: Asparagus Fern from Patch Plants, £10.

    If you fancy growing your own mini-forest from your living room, pick yourself up an asparagus fern (asparagus setaceus). The dainty stems and intricate fronds are incredibly beautiful to look at – just make sure you don’t touch it too much, as it causes its leaves to turn brown.

    Keep your asparagus fern happy by leaving it in moderate shade or soft light and keeping its soil nice and moist. It’ll also enjoy an occasional misting if it’s not in a bathroom environment.

    Shop Asparagus Fern at Patch Plants, £10

  • Pygmy Pineapple

    Pygmy Pineapple from Bloombox Club, £26.
    Unusual House Plants: Pygmy Pineapple from Bloombox Club, £26.

    You can’t get more unusual than a mini-pineapple, right? The beautiful pygmy pineapple plant (ananas comosus ‘amigo’) may produce fruits that are smaller and bitterer than the ones we get in the supermarkets, but its long, voluminous leaves and tropical appeal make it perfect for adding a bit of excitement to any room.

    The pygmy pineapple plant also happens to be rather easy-going when it comes to care – just chop off any brown leaves, keep it in indirect light and water it every so often and it’ll give you lots of love.

    Shop Pygmy Pineapple Plant at Bloombox Club, £26

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Images: Courtesy of Suppliers

Share this article

Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and women’s issues. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time. You can find her on Twitter at @laurenjanegeall.